Mona is the best in the world!

The Sligo Champion - - FRONT PAGE - BY EMMA GAL­LAGHER

MONA McSharry has gone into the history books af­ter win­ning a Gold and Bronze medal at the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships in In­di­anapo­lis. The 17- year- old is the first per­son from Ire­land to ever win a Gold medal in the 100m Breast­stroke and the Grange teenager’s Gold adds to her col­lec­tion of Gold and Sil­ver medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m at the Euro- pean Ju­niors ear­lier this sum­mer. A home­com­ing in her na­tive Grange is ex­pected fol­low­ing her re­turn on Wed­nes­day.

Donal Gil­roy, one of the or­gan­is­ers said ev­ery­one is burst­ing with pride. He added: “For the peo­ple in North Sligo what Mona achieved on Satur­day night was far more im­por­tant than the Conor McGre­gor fight.”

BACK in June, Mona McSharry was the toast of Europe af­ter win­ning gold and sil­ver medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m Breast­stroke. Now, she is World Cham­pion. The 17- year- old girl from Grange won Gold in the 100m Breast­stroke at the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships in In­di­anapo­lis on Satur­day night. This fol­lowed her first medal, Bronze in the 50m Breast­stroke ear­lier in the week. She wasn’t done just yet, at the time of go­ing to print with Mona com­pet­ing in the 200m Breast­stroke last night. It’s a phe­nom­e­nal achievement for the North Sligo star, who has ce­mented her name in the history books. A Civic Re­cep­tion for the young ath­lete is be­ing or­gan­ised by Sligo Co Coun­cil in the near fu­ture, while the Grange com­mu­nity is set to wel­come her home with a spe­cial cer­e­mony. In just eight weeks, the newly crowned World Cham­pion has won World and Euro­pean 100m Breast­stroke Gold, World Bronze and Euro­pean Gold in the 50m Breast­stroke and Euro­pean 200m Breast­stroke Sil­ver, the World 200m event took place on Mon­day. Mona lead from start to the fin­ish, win­ning out by .37 of a sec­ond over sil­ver medal­ist Faith Knel­son of Canada ( 1: 07.47), USA’s Zoe Bar­tel com­pleted the podium in 1: 07.63. Rac­ing to the cham­pi­onship ti­tle and gold medal the Mar­lins Done­gal star eclipsed Fiona Doyle’s 2015 Ir­ish Record of 1: 07.15 by five hun­dredths of a sec­ond win­ning in 1: 07.10, knock­ing al­most three tenths of a sec­ond off her own pre­vi­ous best of 1: 07.38 from this year’s Ir­ish Open. “It’s won­der­ful to win here at the World Ju­niors, to stand on top of the podium and hear our an­them played,” Mona said after­wards. “I’d like to thank ev­ery­one who has sup­ported me on my jour­ney so far; and now for the 200m – I’m not fin­ished yet! I’m one of the only ath­letes at a world- ju­nior level that’s ever won a medal for Ire­land, and to be able to make history like that, it’s phe­nom­e­nal, re­ally. “When other swim­mers are watch­ing, younger ones, they can ob­vi­ously see where you can go. If you watch an Amer­i­can, it’s not the same as watch­ing some­one from your home coun­try,” Mona on what her per­for­mance at World Ju­niors could mean for Ir­ish swim­ming. Her achieve­ments on the World stage have the whole county and coun­try talking about the Grange swim­mer. Donal Gil­roy, chair­man of the lo­cal Com­mu­nity Games in Grange, said ev­ery­one is talking about Mona’s suc­cess. “Mona has done su­perbly, we were all watch­ing her live on Satur­day night in the 100m. “She’s not done yet and we’ll be watch­ing her later to­day in the 200m fi­nal,” he added. “The 100m is prob­a­bly her strong­est and no doubt she will also make a good show of her­self in tonight’s fi­nal.” Donal and other lo­cals were in­volved in her home­com­ing fol­low­ing the Euro­pean suc­cess and plans are be­ing put in place for an­other cel­e­bra­tion when Mona re­turns from In­di­anapo­lis this week. “We haven’t or­gan­ised any­thing yet, Mona is not back in Ire­land un­til Wed­nes­day. “We are meet­ing tonight to see what we will do. “I know the Co Coun­cil are plan­ning on or­gan­is­ing a Civic Re­cep­tion and they have to an­nounce a day for that.” He said that plans will be in place to ei­ther host a home­com­ing on Wed­nes­day or have a func­tion af­ter­ward. “We will def­i­nitely be putting posters up to wel­come Mona home and there will be bunt­ing and all of that. “Mona is a huge bea­con for the area, the county and the coun­try and for that rea­son, ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity is buzzing, the whole place is talking about her. “For the peo­ple in North Sligo, what Mona achieved on Satur­day night was far more im­por­tant than the Conor McGre­gor fight, “It shows the two ends of sport, the pure am­a­teur youth sport and then the com­mer­cial side. “Mona is a truly great am­bas­sador,” he said. Donal also ex­plained that Mona will be in­ducted into the Na­tional Com­mu­nity Games He­roes, join­ing the likes of Niall Quinn, So­nia O’Sul­li­van and Tommy Bowe to name a few. “The whole place is burst­ing with pride for her,” he added. The Cathaoir­leach of Sligo County Coun­cil Coun­cil­lor Sea­mus Kil­gan­non has called Mona McSharry an ex­cep­tional ath­lete and con­grat­u­lated her on her ‘ out­stand­ing achievement’ in win­ning the gold medal at the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships. “When you con­sider that in her short ca­reer to date she has won World and Euro­pean 100m Breast­stroke gold, World bronze and Euro­pean gold in the 50m breast­stroke and Euro­pean 200m breast­stroke sil­ver, this is a phe­nom­e­nal roll of hon­our. “Mona’s suc­cesses are a great source of pride for the while coun­try but par­tic­u­larly in her na­tive county, and we have fol­lowed her progress with great in­ter­est.” The Cathaoir­leach con­firmed that Mona will be af­forded a Civic Re­cep­tion by Sligo County Coun­cil to for­mally hon­our her achieve­ments, a date will be agreed with the McSharry fam­ily when she gets a break in her hec­tic pro­gramme of com­pe­ti­tions and train­ing. Also laud­ing her suc­cess were Min­is­ter for Trans­port, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T. D. and Min­is­ter of State for Tourism and Sport, Bren­dan Grif­fin T. D. They both con­grat­u­lated Mona on her historic win in the 100m breast­stroke at the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships last Satur­day night in In­di­anapo­lis. Min­is­ter Ross said: “This is fan­tas­tic news. What a won­der­ful vic­tory for Mona and one that she thor­oughly de­serves. “In the past few weeks this amaz­ing Sligo teenager has col­lected World and Euro­pean Ju­nior ti­tles as well as nu­mer­ous other medals. “At just 17, she is a shin­ing ex­am­ple of ded­i­ca­tion, pas­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion in her sport. “I very much look for­ward to see­ing what she will achieve next.” Min­is­ter Grif­fin added; “As well as a stun­ning vic­tory this was a per­sonal best for McSharry plus a new Ir­ish record. “She is now the fastest 100m ju­nior breast­stroke swim­mer in the world. “And it’s not over yet. I wish Mona and the rest of the Ir­ish swim team more suc­cess over the fi­nal days in In­di­anapo­lis.” Af­ter her suc­cess at the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships, con­grat­u­la­tions were flow­ing on so­cial me­dia. Mona’s club Ballyshan­non Mar­lins were fol­low­ing her races and were among the first to con­grat­u­late her achieve­ments. “Mona has made history with lots more to come!,” the club said. And what a year it’s been so far for the 17- year- old World Cham­pion.


Swim­ming sen­sa­tion Mona McSharry wins Gold at the World Ju­nior Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships

Mona McSharry re­ceiv­ing a Bronze medal in the 50m Breast­stroke at the World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships.

Mona McSharry af­ter her win.

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